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Summertime is for Grilling

By Patrice Powers-Barker, OSU Extension, Lucas County
The Truth Contributor

Grilling food in the summer is a great way to keep the kitchen cool, cook up some tasty food and try some healthy new recipes.  Most people have their favorite recipes and techniques for grilling.  This article will share reminders for keeping the food safe as well as suggest small changes for healthier eating.

No one wants to be sick any time of year but especially not summertime.  The following steps for grilling (as well as other food preparation) will help reduce the risks of getting and sharing foodborne illness. To help keep spaces clean, use warm soapy water or use disposable cleaning wipes.

It’s important to keep fresh fruits, vegetables and cooked meat separate from raw meat. Defrost frozen food in the refrigerator and marinate foods in the refrigerator. When marinating raw meat, do not reuse the marinade on cooked meat.  Choose to either marinade the raw meat and dispose of the marinade or take the marinade and boil it (after touching raw meat) before using it with cooked foods.  To help keep raw meat separate from cooked foods, use two sets of plates – one for the raw meat and one for the cooked food.  In a similar way, use a different cooking tool to place the raw meat on the grill verses the cooking utensils used to remove, serve and cut cooked meat. Use a cooking thermometer to make sure grilled foods are cooked to a safe temperature and not overcooked. Hamburgers and ground meat should be cooked to at least 160 degrees and chicken should be 165 degrees.

There has been some question about the safety of cooking meats at high temperatures. According to the American Cancer Society, chemicals created by cooking meat at high temperatures may raise the risk of cancer. One way they recommend reducing the risk is to line the grill with heavy foil and then poke some holes in the foil.  The fat from the meat will drip through the holes but the smoke won’t be as heavy on the meat. If not using foil, remember to clean charred bits from the grill before cooking and from your food before eating. 

Try some healthy food tips this summer on the grill:

·         Try new recipes featuring chicken and fish while eating a little less ground beef and sausage

·         Marinate a skewer filled with chicken or shrimp along with added vegetables like pepper and onion slices and grape or cherry tomatoes.

·         To grill vegetables, either line a skewer or cut in long, wide pieces to lay on the grill or the foil. Add a tiny bit of olive oil or vegetable oil before grilling and sprinkle with your favorite seasonings and herbs.

·         Grill your dessert!  Grill pineapple slices or peaches to bring out their natural sugars.

What’s happening in the community this summer?

The Ohio State University Extension office in Lucas County is pleased to announce that we are participating on a statewide project called weGrill.  WeGrill is an 8 session program for fathers and their child between the ages of 10-16. The program will focus on healthy grilling as well as strengthening their relationship. By the time this article is published, we anticipate that the class might be full but you can find out more information at http://lucas.osu.edu/wegrill.  Even if you are not a father or a participant in the summer weGrill program, check out the monthly nutrition articles this summer to learn about what the weGrill teams cook up!

Lunch (and sometimes breakfast, snacks or dinner, depending on the site) is served while school is out. During the school year many children in our community rely on the school lunch program for balanced meals. When school is out for the summer, meals are served at locations such as libraries, parks, schools, places of worship and community centers. The Summer Meal Partners (SMP) of Northwest Ohio is dedicated to making sure every child is offered nutritious meals at no cost each summer. SMP is a collaboration of community organizations that have joined together to form community wide partnerships designed to create enrichment opportunities at summer meal sites. For a list of over 100 site locations that serve summer meals in the Toledo area, please visit the Connecting Kids to Meals website at http://www.connectingkidstomeals.org/our-work/summer-meals/

Information for the article from the American Cancer Society and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics  


Copyright © 2018 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 08/16/18 14:12:12 -0700.

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